The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Sitra, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland have established the new Timeout Foundation to increase dialogue in Finland.

Constructive societal discussion is a fundamental requirement for democracy and a functioning society, but it has proved difficult to come by in recent years. Therefore, four major societal funders have established a new foundation aimed at moving the discussion culture in Finland in a more constructive direction, reducing the entrenchment of society and increasing people’s participation in society together with other parties interested in dialogue.

“We are concerned about the polarisation of society and the tensions increasing within it. The ability and will to engage in constructive discussion are increasingly important so that we can understand each other in spite of our different backgrounds,” says Antti Arjava, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Timeout Foundation.

Only a constructive discussion enables a functioning democracy and a whole society. On the other hand, confrontation and increasing polarization leaves out most of the population, which weakens the participation in society.

Veera Heinonen, Director, Democracy and participation, Sitra